It All Starts With An Idea

It All Starts With An Idea

THE PROGRAM

Hands Up Lake County is a small business competition that encourages and nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit in the community. Selected participants will fine-tune their business ideas and business plans and receive training and follow-up support. Thirteen (13) small businesses will be selected in the Established Business category and seven (7) businesses will be selected in the Startup Business category. All businesses in both categories will compete in a “mini-competition” from which five (5, in the Established Business category) and three (3, in the Startup Category) will be selected to advance to a final competition and a chance to win cash awards totaling $145,000.

There are 4 phases in the small business competition.

THE APPLICATION REVIEW
THE MANDATORY
1-DAY WORKSHOP
THE MINI COMPETITION
THE PITCH LAB
THE FINAL COMPETITION
THE APPLICATION REVIEW
THE MANDATORY 1-DAY WORKSHOP
THE MINI COMPETITION
THE PITCH LAB
THE FINAL COMPETITION

ELIGIBILITY

CRITERIA FOR HANDS UP LAKE COUNTY 2024

Originality: Does the applicant demonstrate the product/service and unique ability to solve a well-defined problem?

Marketing and Sales Strategy: Does the applicant demonstrate a clear understanding of placement in the market and methods to reach market/customer targets?

Market Niche: Does the applicant address a compelling fit and need in the marketplace.

Market Vagaries: Does the applicant demonstrate how it will survive the ups and downs of an unstable market – especially during recessions or emergencies that impact sales and distribution?

Business Model Clarity and Viability: Does the business plan present financial feasibility and a realistic path to success?

Growth Potential: Does the applicant address growth potential of the business?

Creativity and Clarity of the Pitch: Does the pitch/presentation  make a compelling case for business success, 3 – 5 years out?
The Cash Award: Does the applicant deliver a clear case for how the cash award will be used?

JUDGING CRITERIA

The specific criteria used in the judging of the competing businesses may deviate slightly from the general criteria above. The specific judging criteria, weighting factors and scoring by the judges and all accompanying forms are confidential and will not be shared with the applicants. All forms and related documents used in judging are confidential and the property of 1Team 1Dream.

Applicants are encouraged to watch the 2023 video presentations of the finalists found on this website.

BASICS

  • Fully completed, signed application must be submitted by the deadline. Applications will be accepted from March 1 to May 31, 2024. Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Applicants must agree to all the terms specified on the application.
  • The business (established or startup) must be located in Lake County.
  • The application must be responsive to the questions asked.
  • The name of the business or startup must be clear.
  • The contact information must be current and accurate. In any of the phases of the competition if an applicant does not respond to communication from the
  • 1Team 1Dream administration in a timely manner, the applicant may be disqualified.

COMPETITIVENESS

From the application submitted, to the business plan, and the pitch/presentation judges will have the challenging task of deciding which businesses will advance – from the mini-competition to the final competition – where they will decide the award amounts for each finalist in 2 categories:

Established Businesses: $40,000, $20,000, $20,000, $15,000, and $15,000
Startup Businesses: $15,000, $10,000, and $10,000

HOW IT WORKS

The competition provides a unique experience for the participants.

They have the opportunity to get funding for their business ideas.

They get invaluable feedback on their business plan.

They get the exposure to the right audience and expand their network.

They learn more and acquire new talent and skillset.

Cash Prizes

Established Businesses

$40,000 – First Prize Winner
$20,000 – (2) Second Prize Winners $20K each
$15,000 – (2) Third Prize Winners $15K each

Start-up Businesses

$15,000 – First Prize Winner
$10,000 – (2) Second Prize Winners $10K each

The participants of the competition have the chance to win cash prizes, which he or she can use to jumpstart his business plan.